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L.A. Lakers’ Ron Artest gets into the reality TV biz

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Baskeball bad boy Ron Artest is joining the reality TV ranks.

The Los Angeles Lakers forward has sealed a deal with E1 Entertainment and Tijuana Ent. (“Obsessed”) to produce and star in the project “They Call Me Crazy.”

Project, which hasn’t yet secured a network outlet, will follow Artest as he “makes amends for past transgressions and also helps develop aspiring artists through his hip-hop label.”

 “This show will allow me to share my experiences with others, and hopefully people can learn from the mistakes I’ve made,” Artest said.

Artest was arrested in 2007 on charges of domestic abuse, and eventually spent ten days in jail (and was suspended briefly by the NBA). He’s also been suspended at various times for other reasons, such as a scuffle with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley.

As part of the series deal, E1 will provide marketing and distribution for Artest’s Tru Warier music label.

Artest will exec produce the series through his Tru Warier Enterprises shingle. E1’s John Morayniss and Tara Long will also serve as EPs, along with Tijuana’s Troy Searer and John Foy.

E1 also holds worldwide distribution to the show, which Long said “promises unprecedented access to one of the most provocative athletes in the world.”

“This is a unique reality series that will take viewers on an intimate journey with Ron beyond his explosive, on-court persona and into his dynamic, unpredictable world,” said Long, VP of alternative programming at E1.

E1’s other TV-meets-music collaborations include a studio album and reality show for Faith Evans, as well as a new kids series to be developed and produced by KISS.

Reality TV is becoming increasingly popular for active pro athletes. The Cincinnati Bengals’ Chad Ochocinco, of course, is currently on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and is also shooting a dating show for VH1.

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